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15th July 2011

2nd Corporate Manslaughter Prosecution Announced

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have recently announced that Lion Steel Ltd are to be prosecuted for Corporate Manslaughter and Health and Safety at Work Act offenses, and three directors of the company are to be charged with gross negligent manslaughter following an employee fatality.

Alison Storey, reviewing lawyer in the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said:

“I have advised Greater Manchester Police to charge Lion Steel Ltd in Manchester with corporate manslaughter following the tragic death of Steven Berry at the Hyde site on Johnson Brook Road when he fell through a fragile roof panel and died as a result of injuries sustained in the fall. I have also decided that three of the company directors – Kevin Palliser, Richard Williams and Graham Coupe – should be charged with gross negligence manslaughter.

“The three men are also charged under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for failing to ensure the safety at work of their employees. Lion Steel is also charged under section 2 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for failing to ensure the safety at work of its employees.

“I have taken this decision after very carefully reviewing the material gathered in the police investigation and have concluded that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to bring these charges.

The first hearing will take place at Tameside Magistrates’ Court on 2 August 2011.

The company being prosecuted is described as a medium sized organisation with 100 or more employees. This should provide the prosecution with a more challenging case than the previous Corporate Manslaughter trial of Cotswold Geotechnics, essentially a ‘one-man band’ company who were subsequently found guilty in the first case of its kind under the new legislation.

Lighthouse will obviously be keeping clients fully up to date with any significant developments in this important case.

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